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Submitted by Yussif Nagumse on
Hi Patricio, Thanks for your blog - on the need to redouble efforts at reducing maternal mortality in SSA and achieving the MDG goal. I agree with you on the need for government/policy makers to tackle demand, supply and behavioural factors that constrain access and utilisation of maternal healthcare in SSA. On the demand side, one important point you failed to mention, which has proven to be an effective strategy for reducing mortality levels, is the removal of user fees in maternal and child healthcare services. For instance, in Mali [http://www.globalhealthcheck.org/?s=mali], Seirra Leone [http://www.globalhealthcheck.org/?p=699], Burkina Faso[http://www.globalhealthcheck.org/?p=203], Haiti etc, there were significant reductions in maternal and child mortalities and an increase in service utilisation among poorest women when user fees in maternal and child care were removed. Hence, reducing access barriers should take into account the need to address financial barriers as well. This is because user fees in healthcare are the most important constraining factor for maternal healthcare in SSA, and not just the transportation problems or the unavailability of obstetric healthcare facilities. Thanks